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Thread: Latching on Problems...

  1. #1
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    Dec 2007
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    Default Latching on Problems...

    My son Grant is two weeks old. He is starting to have problems sometimes latching on. He will root around on my breast and take my nipple in his mouth, and then spit it out. He gets very mad at this and I try everything to get him to latch on. After a few minutes, and a huge fit, he will finally latch on. Is there something that I'm doing wrong? I don't know if the milk is coming out too fast for him and he's drowning or what.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Latching on Problems...

    Hi!
    Welcome to the forum.

    It sounds like you're really trying to understand what your baby is communicating. At two weeks old, it can seem really difficult to figure out what the want.

    When you say he spits out the nipple, do you mean he sucks for a while, or is it almost immediately? Do you hear any noises like coughing, sputtering. Things that make you think there is too much milk at once, or is it the opposite?

    How often are you feeding? Sometimes they get over eager if too much time has gone by, and then get frustrated about how long it takes for a letdown.

    Do your breasts feel hard or engorged? Latching onto a firm breast can be hard when you are so small.

  3. #3
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    Dec 2007
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    Default Re: Latching on Problems...

    I am really trying to figure out what he wants. Today is my first day home alone with him. My husband has been off and he went back to work today. The first two week, he slept SOO much. Today has been a rough day. He's cried all day unless I was feeding him or he was being held. I'm trying to entertain him, but it's hard to entertain a 2 week old.

    When he eats, I think he is just so anxious to eat, he does not know what to do. He will open his mouth, and put it on my nipple, but he's so busy rooting around that he won't latch on. Then he gets mad and has a fit for about a minute and then he'll latch on and eat. He usually moves his hands along grabbing my breast, so I don't know if that's distracting him or what. Today I swaddled him before he latched on the first time. He really likes being swaddled, but I hate for him to be so confined all day. I worry that will hurt his motor development.

    I am feeding every 2.5-3 hours. He went to the Dr. last week, and he gained a pound in a week. The Dr. asked me if I was force feeding him...so I felt horrible after that, and I'm not really sure what to do. I didn't think you could force feed a breastfed child. He's finally taking a nap now in his swing, and I feel bad because he's in his swing sleeping...but if I move him, he'll more than likely wake up.

    I was actually thinking my let down was too fast, because it seems like he wears a lot of milk in the beginning. No, my breasts aren't hard or engorged, they used to get hard, but now they really don't unless he hasn't ate in a while.

    Does it ever get any easier? I just don't want him to think I'm a horrible mother. I tell him every day that I'm trying to be a good mother, but it's my first time and I'm learning.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Latching on Problems...

    It gets easier, it really does!

    I know it can be confusing and frustrating, but the fact that he gained a pound in a week is EXCELLENT. And you're right--you can't force a baby to breastfeed. Don't feel guilty. You're doing great!

    When he eats, I think he is just so anxious to eat, he does not know what to do. He will open his mouth, and put it on my nipple, but he's so busy rooting around that he won't latch on. Then he gets mad and has a fit for about a minute and then he'll latch on and eat.
    This sounds to me like he might be so hungry that he's just frantic. Starting the feeding session 15-20 minutes sooner might help you quite a bit here. Crying is a late hunger cue. Earlier hunger cues are restlessness, chewing on hands/fists, small noises, rooting, etc.

    He usually moves his hands along grabbing my breast, so I don't know if that's distracting him or what. Today I swaddled him before he latched on the first time. He really likes being swaddled, but I hate for him to be so confined all day. I worry that will hurt his motor development.
    Yes, newborn babies like to stroke/knead the breast similar to the way puppies or kittens might. It can actually aid in your letdown. But if his hands are getting in the way, by all means swaddle him until you get him good and latched.

    Swaddling won't hurt his motor development. Remember, he just moved out of some pretty cramped quarters! It's what he's used to. Some experts call the first 3 months of life the "fourth trimester". Many babies like to have that womb-like environment recreated for them as much as possible--and this includes swaddling and being very close to mom. He'll outgrow his need for swaddling soon--you'll know it when he does. But if he likes it and it's working, then use it!

    Today has been a rough day. He's cried all day unless I was feeding him or he was being held. I'm trying to entertain him, but it's hard to entertain a 2 week old.
    As I said above, it DOES get easier! And you're right--you can't really entertain a 2 week old. Entertainment for them is being ON mom. You are the baby's habitat right now! Most babies this age like to be held nearly constantly, and it's okay to do it. You aren't spoiling him or starting any bad habits. Do you have a sling or baby carrier so you can have your hands free?

    Hang in there mama!
    Jen
    "Mothers are designed to be available to their babies--to help them make the transition into this big, wide world. To teach them to trust, and love, and feel good about being alive."
    --Elizabeth N. Baldwin, Esq., So I Nursed Him Every 45 Minutes

    Click here to find your local LLL Group
    How to tell if your breastfed baby is getting enough milk!

  5. #5
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    Dec 2007
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    Default Re: Latching on Problems...

    I've been looking online for slings to help in keeping Grant close to me during the day. I ordered 2 Hotslings and I can't wait for them to come in. I love the fact that he will be right next to me. :-) I have a carrier that is made by Infantino I believe is the brand name but it was such a chore to put him in, and he hated it. It didn't seem very natural to me. So hopefully the hotslings will work. :-)

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Latching on Problems...

    Ignore that dr!!! BF babies gain quickly in the beginning, and that is GREAT!!! I would suggest you put him on a little more frequently so he's not getting frustrated. Good luck!

    L e i l a, married to hubby, loving our "bock-ee" kinda girl, 6.23.06
    Learn about the prepuce before you have a boy.
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Latching on Problems...

    Quote Originally Posted by NewMom2Grant View Post
    Does it ever get any easier?
    YES!!!!! Keep hanging in there, you're doing great!
    Erin (32), breastfeeding CLW, knitting cloth-diapering crocheting, heirloom tomato-growing philosophizing poker-playing feminist artist mama to my 19 month old daughter! Baby #2 due January 2009.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Latching on Problems...

    You're doing great! Lots of babies gain a pound a week, I seriously, serious doubt you are force feeding. It sounds like you have a baby that really enjoys sucking!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Default Re: Latching on Problems...

    Yes! It does get better , hang in there. At least after the initial frustration your lo will latch on and nurse. It's a nursing partnership, you are each still learning about one another.
    Have you talked with with lactation consultant? If she could watch this happen she might be able to pin point the problem.

  10. #10
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    Dec 2007
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    Default Re: Latching on Problems...

    I agree with healthymama! Ignore the doctor!! DS was born at 9lb 9oz. Today he weighs 12lb 2oz. He was born 3 weeks ago!!

    My LC, the pediatrician, and the LC at WIC were all thrilled with his weight gain!! The pedi explained to me that with a bf baby, they actually have to kind of work to get fed. They have to suck the breast, so too much weight gain isn't an issue, babies know when they are hungry and when they are full.

    With bottle fed babies, the milk drips into thier mouth, even if they aren't sucking, so they are more likely to gain weight to quickly.

    Your babies weight gain sounds FANTASTIC, good for you, you are doing things right!!

    You sound like you are a super great mama! Don't be so hard on yourself. Babies are very forgiving and it sounds to me like you are doing everything just right anyway! Please don't feel guilty for having your baby in the swing. Mama's need a little bit of time too. You are going to LOVE the hotslings! They are a real lifesaver!! I don't know what I'd do without mine!

    Also, swaddling is super good for babies. They were in such tight quarters for 9 months and then they come into this great big world and they get scared. Swaddling makes babies feel safe and it won't hinder them in the least, in fact, it'll make them feel safer and more secure. When they are in the slings, they are back in tight quarters and it reminds them of the womb. It's VERY good for babies, so please don't worry.

    You are doing a great job, mama. Please, don't be so hard on yourself. There is a learning curve to parenting and it sounds to me like you are doing an AMAZING job! Try to take time out for yourself to rest and pamper yourself a bit. Keep up the good work!

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